Lighthouse Foundation, a German organization that effectively promotes sustainable development of the coastal areas around the world, has listed the collection of funds for the printing of my mate Alexandra’s book on the relationship between Eider ducks and Man throughout history among its projects.
Here is the beginning of their page on Alexandra’s Eider book:
This is the world’s first popular science publication dedicated to the world-wide history of the relation of Man (Homo sapiens) and the Common eider (Somateria mollissima): from the eiders in the excavations of ancient human settlements to the eiders in art; from myths and legends to the latest scientific research; from the eiders as hunting trophies to them in the museum collections.
Continue experimenting with the fucus seaweed. Tried chickpea patties with fucus yesterday. Liked them considerably. Just chop up marinated fucus, mix with chickpea flour, add water and throw them onto a pan. Off to collect more today..
Another story from Jack from Poland (see the previous story) that may be worth sharing to show the spirit of the country. Reminds me of another couple of travellers who got a free tow from Petrozavodsk to St. Petersburg. So yes, I’d say the situation described below is “typical” for Russia.
While it wasn’t in your neightborhood, I would like to share with you a story, what happened a week before.
As always, I prepared my car thoroughly for the trip. But it’s impossible to predict every failure. At the Russian border, a leak started from the cooling system. My repairs didn’t helped for long. Two days later, in the middle of nowhere, a big diameter, long, rubber hose, has disintegrated totally, due to it’s age. It was looking like a new from outside, while being a garbage inside, at least at a section of it.
Without much effort, I stopped a man, who, using a rope, towed me to an unpaved parking lot at a tire service at route M20. He drove to that place only for me, and took money only for the fuel.
On this parking lot were two military trucks. Soldiers were taking a rest. When I opened the hood of my car, they immediately came to me. We all saw, that the fix is simple, but what can I do without new hose? They tried to cut off hose from their pump (used for pumping oil, I think) to replace that in my car, but diameter was different.
A man from tire service soon appeared. He gave us all what was necassary: a short L-bend hose (from some car), a steel pipe and electric angle grinder. Soldiers cutted out excessive lenght of the pipe, removed rotten part of my hose and assembled everything, using their own hose-clamps. They even filled the cooling system with water from their own portable tank and bleeded it.
Soldiers (like the tire-shop guy) didn’t wanted money. I tried to gave them some jars and cans with food from EU, at least. They refused to take more than 1 jar, and one of them gave me an emblem from shoulder of his uniform.
Contrary to this, in my country (and some others) it’s not easy to find free help. And it’s a real rarity, when somebody offers help to you, because he sees you need it. Russian soldiers repaired my car for free, they worked over 30 minutes till my car was ready to go, wanted nothing in exchange, and they did this before I asked them for help. Today, after 10,000 km, their kludge is still working.
While, when visiting Russia, I’ve met many times with warm reception and gifts, nothing can beat those four soldiers. And their emblem, a personal gift, is my most valuable souvenir.
Motivated by greed, I’ve conceded to give an overview tour of Kandalaksha and area on the night from Saturday to Sunday, starting at 1am and ending at 6am. Now, as the day or, rather, night, approaches I’m starting to have doubts about the wisdom of my decision. Somehow staying up all night is something that no longer seems easy although I worked as a night watchman for a considerable time in Canada in my younger days. We’ll see if I’m still capable of pulling it off..
The Common Eider and Homo Sapiens: Fourteen Centuries Together
A popular science book by Alexandra Goryashko
Publication expected in 2019
The preparation of a popular science book on the world-wide history of the relationship between humans and the eiders – A Wild Bird and a Cultured Man (The Common Eider and Homo Sapiens: Fourteen Centuries Together) – for printing is nearing its end.
This week I was visited by my brother Michael and his family. That was a delight although I may have been a bit tardy in answering your e-mails. Now, when he is on his way to Canada I’m back in circulation.
For the last few months, in addition to translating Alexandra’s book on the eiders (the end of the project is now in sight sometime in 2019) and teaching English (mostly to local kids), I’ve been looking where a motor yacht could fill up with quality diesel fuel between St. Petersburg and Murmansk. Now, with the yacht project over, 1/3 of my time and energy is freed up, and am ready to apply it to the benefit humanity and to help in paying our bills.
Examples of jobs done in the last three or four years, since our move to the Kola Peninsula: more >>
This is me by the White Sea coast ~200 meters from our new dacha, where my mate regularly drags me out, after a forced walk at minus 20 degrees centigrade (minus 4 Fahrenheit)
An appropriate end of December exercise may be to sum up the results of this year, my fourth one in Kandalaksha.
Making a living remains the number one issue. On that front I’m pleased to note that, after three years here, I seem to have achieved a certain popularity as an English tutor, and have just as many clients – mostly from among the local kids – as I need, three or four one hour lessons on an average day, exactly as much as I can comfortably handle.
As far as providing services to travelers and those who have an interest in Russia but can’t be here, several projects completed in 2017 come to mind.